ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has allowed the International Monetary Fund to release a staff report prepared following annual Article IV consultations after protests in parliament by the opposition and by ex-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“The 2021 Article IV consultation with Sri Lanka concluded with the Executive Board Meeting on February 25,” Sri Lanka mission chief Masahiro Nozaki said.
“The authorities consented yesterday to the publication of the Article IV staff report. In preparing the staff report, we followed the IMF’s Transparency Policy, which aims at safeguarding the independence of staff’s views in IMF country documents.
Ex-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at an All Party Conference, had an exchange with Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on blocking the release of the report.
Minister Rajapaksa claimed the final report was not ready and seemed to be unaware that official had blocked the report.
However during Wickremesinghe’s time, IMF staff reports were also blocked when his appointing Arjuna Mahendran was running the central bank.
Mahendran, like Finance Minister Rajapaksa also claimed that he did not block the report when questioned by reporters.
During Wickremesinghe’s the central bank also created two currency crises. In the first crisis the central bank busted the rupee from 131 to 151 to the US dollar and in the second in 2018 to 182 to the US dollar.
Classical economists have called for reforms to the central bank law to block Keynesians and other interventionists to print money to manipulate interest rates and bust the rupee.